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Success Story

Design review for a fingerpricking aid for diabetics

The larger the quantities, the more important error-free optimum design becomes. In this design review, Zühlke examined the reliability of production and substantially improved the use characteristics of a medical product.


Over 120 million people suffer from type 2 diabetes worldwide. Many of them have to take blood samples daily. Patients are given finger-pricking device to help them carry out these procedures easily and painlessly. These devices must operate extremely reliably and are produced in large quantities.
In this project, Zühlke’s task was to review the design of a new generation of these devices before they were approved for mass production. The manufacturer wanted to launch the product on schedule and in accordance with high quality standards.


The development team provided Zühlke with the current project documents (drawings, CAD data) and information on the design and mode of operation of the device. The review team started by reviewing the safe operation of the device. This product is made almost completely out of plastic.

Careful attention was therefore paid to the material selected and pairings and to whether the design was appropriate for the material (wall thicknesses, back-cuts at curves). Critical components (e.g. springs) were examined with FEM for possible overstressing and tolerance chains were re-calculated (statistically and worstcase). The Zühlke engineers passed their review findings on to the developers on an ongoing basis, so the latter could make immediate improvements in the design. A second priority was the readiness of assembly. Experts used MTM methods (Methods/Time Measurement) to optimise the assembly and calculate the assembly time. They also drew on experience to point out appropriate assembly equipment design procedures for improving joining and separation characteristics.

Customer benefits

  • With Zühlke’s support, the manufacturer was able to launch a product on the market that was even safer and more reliable and of better quality.
  • The design was optimised during the development stage. This approach eliminated scheduling delays and incorrect tool and equipment investment caused by design errors detected too late.
  • The customer’s developers benefited from the expertise they gained from the knowledge the Zühlke team shared with them.

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